Dad's Army Wiki
Present Arms
Series Christmas Night with the Stars, Episode 1
Air Date 25th December 1968
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 5 to 10 minutes
Original Audience Figures Unknown
Previous episode N/A
Next episode Resisting the Aggressor Down the Ages
List of episodes

Present Arms (sometimes referred to as Untitled Sketch due to the lack of an 'official' title) is the first Christmas Night with the Stars mini-episode (or 'insert') of Dad's Army, which was originally transmitted on Wednesday 25th December 1968. It is currently missing from the BBC archives, though the soundtrack was recovered in 2008.


It is Christmas, but Mainwaring cannot forget his sense of duties—specially when GHQ come up with an exercise idea using telegraph poles...


It is Christmas Day 1940, and Mainwaring cannot drop his sense of duty for even one day. He orders his men to come on parade and Wilson, being more relaxed about the whole affair, says they can wear "civvies" (civilian clothes); however, Mainwaring is not best pleased with his sergeant's sudden burst of decision making.

The men all arrive dressed as Father Christmas, with various reasons why. Mainwaring views this as proof that they cannot be seen to let discipline drop for one moment.

GHQ has come up with an idea of using telegraph poles as a means of exercise, and Mainwaring runs through the instructions with his men. As usual, he overlooks the age of some of them—particularly when he shouts 'jump' at the aged Godfrey and expects him to sit cross-legged on the floor. Eventually, Mainwaring is forced to show them how it is done, but is saved by the bell as the Major phones through to the office with his seasonal greetings.

Mainwaring returns to the hall and delivers a speech which shows how confident he is regarding the outcome of the war. In return, the men show their respect and affection for him as they wish each other a Merry Christmas.